How Smart SUP Hydration Can Protect Our Oceans 

The author (in red) searches for his groove during the 2016 Molokai 2 Oahu World Paddle Championships. This year, he's back for another round. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
by Christian Shaw, Plastic Tides

For paddlers, keeping our bodies fully hydrated and functioning at our peak is essential to a successful performance. However, when the frenzy of race day arrives it’s easy to forget this fact and end up dehydrated and aching by the afternoon.

To avoid this, simply take a few important things into consideration before the race.

First and foremost, drink as much as you can over the three days leading up to the event and avoid diuretics like alcohol and coffee. Coming into event day saturated will make life much easier and help you if you face unexpected conditions like a powerful headwind.

Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt

Next up, do some math.  Find out what the race entails, how long you expect to be on the water and any conditions that could prolong the race.  The longer the race, the more calculated you need to be — especially when accounting for delays from winds or currents. During strenuous exercise, your body can use anywhere from .5 to 1 ounce per minute. And with many SUP races being an hour or longer, that’s a lot of water.

Unfortunately, many people don’t take hydration seriously and end up endangering themselves. This pushes organizers towards using bottled water out of necessity and ends up with events leaving leave hundreds of bottles behind.

Even folks not racing need to be thinking about where they will get their next drink as they’ll likely become thirsty at some point during the event. Considering this fact, we ought to start thinking more about how we’re going to quench our thirst in the safest, most cost-effective and eco-friendly manner in our day-to-day lives.

Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt

Thankfully, some companies and events are starting to turn the tide on single-use plastic water bottles with a few forward-thinking solutions. This summer, Plastic Tides has teamed up with SEA Paddle NYC, CLIF and Pathwater to provide reusable bottles and a refill infrastructure to meet everyone’s hydration needs.

Of course, organizers can’t do it all on their own and are hoping to get some help from the paddlers. They are asking SEA Paddle NYC participants to support the plastic-free cause by coming prepared with hydration packs that are filled and ready to keep them hydrated in the 25-mile race. Of course, there will still be a safety team on hand to provide refills for those that “miscalculate” their water-intake needs.

So next time you head out the door for a race, or just your normal day, think twice about where you’re going to get your next drink and stay hydrated!


Photo gallery of the SEA Paddle NYC.

More SUP hydration tips.

The article was originally published on Standup Paddling

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!